Melania Trump skips unveiling of White House Christmas decorations
Washington : US First Lady Melania Trump skipped the traditional press preview of the White House Christmas decorations, tweeting out a 56-second video of herself wandering through the rooms.
Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham on Monday said Trump decided "to let the decorations speak for themselves."
Members of the media were invited on a brisk 30-minute self-guided tour through the holiday wonderland of more than 20,000 feet of lights and 12,000 bows, put up over the past few days with the help of 225 volunteers.
The theme this year is "American Treasures".
The colour red was big, appearing in a dramatic forest of 40 towering crimson topiary trees in the East Colonnade and on 14,000 ornaments in the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall.
The First Lady's office described the red motif: "The choice of red is an extension of the pales, or stripes found in the presidential seal designed by our Founding Fathers. It is a symbol of valour and bravery."
Green Room decorations celebrate the country's harvest and include fruits, grains and vegetables, including aptly coloured artichokes and tomatoes, which were artfully arranged on mantels and antique tabletops.
The East Room featured mantel pieces trimmed with silhouetted skylines of New York, St. Louis, Chicago and San Francisco.
The China Room presented table settings of three state dinners, including the Trump administration's sole such soiree for the President of France.
"This is a joyous time of year when we decorate the White House for the Christmas season," the First Lady said in an official statement.
"Our theme honours the heart and spirit of the American people.... On behalf of my family, we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."
This holiday season, the White House will host 100 December open houses and receptions, the same as last year. And they expect 30,000 visitors to walk through the halls on holiday tours.